Written answers

Wednesday, 21 September 2022

Department of Education and Skills

School Admissions

Photo of Eoin Ó BroinEoin Ó Broin (Dublin Mid West, Sinn Fein)
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77. To ask the Minister for Education and Skills if her attention has been drawn to a request by a school (details supplied) for a financial contribution to accompany an application for admission; and if this is correct given the Education (Admission to Schools) Act 2018. [46234/22]

Photo of Norma FoleyNorma Foley (Kerry, Fianna Fail)
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Under the provisions of the Education Act, 1998 the Board of Management is responsible for the day to day running of a school.

Apart from those recognised fee-charging second level schools, recognised primary and post primary schools are precluded from charging school fees. Section 64 of the Education (Admission to Schools) Act 2018, which was commenced in October 2018, explicitly prohibits the charging of fees or seeking payment or contributions for admission to or for continued enrolment in a school. No charge may be made, in respect of instruction in any subject of the school curriculum or for recreation or other activities where all pupils are expected to take part.

When a child is enrolled in a school certain charges may be legitimately requested such as:

- payment for school books, lockers, text messages or photocopied material provided by the school where the charge is reasonable and simply reflects the true costs concerned; or

- charges for meals and refreshments provided pupils are not obliged to purchase same and can bring their own refreshments to school (e.g. lunchbox); or

- payments in respect of extra-curricular activities provided such activities are not obligatory and individual pupils can choose whether or not to participate.

However, as outlined above such charges may not be used as a condition of admission to a school placement.

The Department has contacted the school referenced by the Deputy. They have accepted that these fees should not have been included as part of the admissions process. The school have advised the Department that this fee is no longer part of the admissions requirements, and that changes have been made to the school website to reflect the position that there is no enrolment fee requested.

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